BC RCMP Traffic Services say that although there were no fatal collisions on provincial highways over the long weekend, the same cannot be said for the number of excessive speed violations over the same period.
On Friday, May 15, Superintendent Holly Turton, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Traffic Services had announced that traffic enforcement would be returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in light of a noticeable spike in excessive speed offences. This announcement coincided with Canada Road Safety Week and the month of May High Risk Driving Campaign.
Here’s a snap shot from several individual BC RCMP Traffic Services Units from around the province that have reported their enforcement results:
· Capital Regional District IRSU (Greater Victoria) reported 295 tickets written over two days, including 259 for speeding and 7 excessive speeding violations;
· Central Interior Traffic Services (Merritt) stopped a vehicle on Highway 5 with four occupants (one not wearing his belt) for travelling in excess of 75 km/h over the posted speed limit;
· Sea to Sky Traffic Services (Squamish) reported impounding 4 vehicles for excessive speeding violations over the long weekend, one driver of which was also given a 90-day driving prohibition for being impaired; and
· Lower Mainland IRSU reported 19 excessive speed violations among many other infractions that Unit enforced, including taking an unsafe commercial vehicle out of service.
Of particular note was one individual who was stopped for excessive speed by Lower Mainland IRSU for going 130 km/h in a residential zone, then stopped (in a different vehicle) four hours later by an officer from Fraser Valley Traffic Services (Chilliwack) for driving over 160 km/h on Highway 1. That driver has been referred to RoadSafetyBC to consider a lengthy driving prohibition.
BC RCMP Traffic Services Unit Commanders from every corner of the province are reporting higher than usual numbers of excessive speeding offences:
· BC RCMP Traffic Services in the northern part of the province collectively reported 179 speeding offences including 12 for excessive speed;
· BC RCMP Traffic Services in the southeast region of the province collectively reported 57 tickets/vehicle impounds for excessive speed;
· BC RCMP Traffic Services on Vancouver Island collectively reported 17 tickets/vehicle impounds for excessive speed;
· BC RCMP Traffic Services Units from Sea to Sky, Port Mann and Fraser Valley Traffic Services collectively reported a total of 42 tickets/vehicle impounds for excessive speed; and
· In total, BC RCMP Traffic Services (including IRSU) across the province impounded nearly 150 vehicles for excessive speed alone over the long weekend.
“Last week I stated that this spike in excessive speed violations is concerning and unacceptable,” says Turton. “That sentiment has not changed and I am disappointed that there are drivers who continue to choose to break the law and put themselves and others in risk. This is not a game. Our officers will continue to demonstrate their commitment to road safety. There is no excuse, including COVID-19, for this kind of high risk driving behaviour anywhere in our province.”
He noted that driving is a privilege and BC is a leader when it comes to holding drivers accountable for their actions. BC RCMP Traffic Services wish to remind motorists to make good decisions and drive safely as B.C. enters into an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions.